Thursday, 30 September 2010

The long or the short of it

TRIGGER ALERT: This features a blog that deals with maintaining a weight loss diet and I would advise caution if you feel shaky about this.

Debra Sapp-Yarwood who's a member of BFB has just started a new blog about her maintenance of weight loss. She wishes it to detail her everyday realities.

I must admit it's not likely to be my kind of thing, I find it hard to know where to file dieting nowadays and so find it virtually impossible to become engaged. But I do respect the way she represents the all too rare strain of dieters who have the self respect and rigour of mind not to golly gosh WLD.

Her first post is interesting, her take is that dieting's problem is in part the rigour of maintenance. It never ceases to amaze why many cannot get it in their heads, including many ardent FA supporters, dieting doesn't fail because its 'hard', it fails because it cannot be tolerated.

Time and time again people support dieting saying that they can lose weight, cut down and it all falls off, yet invariably they are at the weight they diet from why? Because the defects of dieting are not the pain, it is the dysfunctions of dieting that cause the pain, when the pain is not there, the dysfunction still remains. The defences still operate very efficiently regardless.

Only 3% of people who intentionally lose radical weight will maintain their losses for five years, according to evidence-based, empirical research. Why?

The statement answers its own question, weight loss dieting/calorie restriction doesn't work or to put it another way, the body's defences will not allow it to unfold without molesting and derailing it all the way. It could not because that would be in the main, anorexia. The human body doesn't give a fig how counterintuitive that sounds to our conscious rationale, it just goes about its business thwarting your efforts, winning with ease.

I don't doubt for a second, never have, that there is a way of changing weight, up or down; calorie manipulation just isn't it. How can something with such a low ascribed efficacy be said to even function much at all beyond mere chance? I must say I can't see what that is because if dieting became effective, it wouldn't be dieting.

The list reads as a why dieting is bunk, its unnatural and really is an eating disorder, something she bravely alludes to;

Weight-loss maintenance, if analyzed fairly, might qualify as a disordered mindset,

That in itself hints at one reason (of many) why it's just a bad idea full stop, an eating disorder is something you tend to get mostly from it, rather than something that can become a lifestyle.

It's a little like trying to develop a phobia for some object or an anxiety disorder, although you'd probably have more success with its harder for them to kill than the withdrawal of sustenance. If you had a balanced mind, it would fight it quite hard and it would be a question of succumbing to it, rather than achieving a lifestyle. Although we are only talking about the threat of hunger, that is enough to provoke the body due to the centrality of eating to life.

There's a spectrum for everything and some people would be more susceptible than others, that's effectively what you are seeking in your attempt at WLD success, inefficiency in your defences and/or susceptibility to disordered eating.

Whether its a case of capacity of personality or inherently being closer on the scale, physically, to be that way inclined, it's not a majority solution.

All the weight loss registry shows is that there is always a percentage of outliers when it comes to anything. The only thing we can learn from dieting is why and how it fails because that can help tell us about how we actually function, and maybe Debra's blog will reveal some things. I just don't know if I have the mind for it.


  1. I'm reading her blog, mainly because I'm curious about how she maintains her loss, and how long she's going to maintain that loss. She even says she expects that one day she'll end up gaining the weight back (some or all, I'm can't remember right off hand which).
    What she has to go through to maintain that loss (which is a drop in the bucket of what I'd have to lose to become "average") just reinforces for me that there is no way I could lose a massive amount of weight and keep it off forever. I'm not willing to put myself through the things she does, no way, no how, so it's another way to remind myself that self-acceptance is what I need to practice. Loving myself as I am and taking care of myself as best I can is going to give me the best outcome, and that's what I'm after.

  2. I actually couldn't finish the post about her daily regime, it upset me a little and I'm not entirely sure why.

    I've been through far worse so I don't know why it seemed to leap out at me a bit.

    Loving myself as I am and taking care of myself as best I can is going to give me the best outcome, and that's what I'm after.

    I have to agree with you there, after what we've put ourselves through, I think we can put all that force of will into self acceptance and see where that goes.